Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Dutch Lit Month - Tow Truck Pluck by Annie M.G. Schmidt

I didn't grow up with Pluck but I've heard about him for years from my husband. Pluck is a character in the beloved Dutch children's book Tow Truck Pluck (Pluck van de Petteflet) by Annie M.G. Schmidt. We had no idea it had been translated into English so when Mr.B saw it in a bookstore on a recent trip to the Netherlands, he didn't hesitate to buy it for our boys. Now he's having fun reading it out loud and I guess reliving the memories of reading Pluck as a youngster. Mr.B says it's an excellent translation so I'll take his word for it.

Pluk, a little boy, drives a small red crane truck through the city. He has no parents and is looking for a new place to live. On the way, he meets all sorts of interesting people and animals and one day he arrives at the 'Petteflet' a high rise that's soon to be his new home. Pluck's adventures are so much fun and it's no surprise that Annie M.G. Schmidt is considered to be the 'real queen of the Netherlands.' She is much loved in her home country. The fun and cute illustrations are by  Fiep Westendorp.

 Here's an excerpt from the first chapter:

Pluck had a little red tow truck. He drove it all over town looking for somewhere to live. Now and then he stopped. And when he stopped, he asked people, 'Do you know anywhere I can live?' The people thought for a moment and then said, 'No." Because all the houses were taken.
In the end Pluck drove into the park. He backed his truck in between two trees and sat down on a bench.
'Maybe I can sleep here in the park tonight,' he said out loud. 'I could sleep in my truck under that tree..' Then he heard a voice above him. 'I know where you can live,' the voice said.
Pluck looked up. There was a beautiful, fat pigeon sitting on one of the branches of the big oak tree.
'The tower of the Pill Building's free,' the pigeon said.
'Thanks,' Pluck said, taking off his cap. 'Where is the Pill Building? And what's your name?'
'I'm, Dolly,' the pigeon said. 'And the Pill Building's close by. That great big building over there...See? Right up on top, there's a little tower. And in that tower, there's a room. And  no one lives in it. If you're fast, you can move into that room. But don't waste any time, otherwise it might be taken.'

Dutch Lit Month is hosted by Iris at Iris on Books. Do check out her blog for more Dutch Lit reviews this month.


  1. I am happy to learn that your family seems to be enjoying it. I remember very little about "Pluk van de Petteflet" except his towtruck, that he lived in the 'Petteflet' and that he has/meets a dove? If I were to reread it I am sure I would feel like your husband. I think there is no one in the Netherlands who does not have a childhood memory of one of Annie MG Schmidt's stories, poems, or songs. I did not know this particular book was translated to English. I think it's going on my list for next year ;)

  2. This is a lovely book. We have it in Dutch and I used to read it with the children. I absolutely love the pictures. Fiep Westendorp did more or less all the pictures for Annie M. G. Schmidt's books and I've always loved them loads.

  3. Hi, nice post this is very precise. Thanks for sharing.

    Tow Truck Dalby QLD

  4. Thanks for sharing this review about "Tow Truck Pluck." I've heard about this book from a friend and now I have decided to buy one for my kids.

  5. Hi Nice Info post about Tow Truck Pluck by Annie M.G. Schmidt

  6. Wow this very nice post and thanks for sharing the wonderful post.

  7. Pluck has a little red tow truck. He drives it all over town looking for a place to live. Then Dolly the pigeon tells him that the tower of the Pill Building is empty. There’s a room free in the Pill Building. Up on top, in the tower. When Pluck finds out, he drives straight there in his red tow truck. Finally he has a home. And right away he makes lots of new friends: Zaza the cockroach and Dolly the pigeon, Mr Penn, the Stampers and Aggie. Pluck’s adventures can begin.

    russel of Alaska Hunting

  8. Hi, just a moment back I was searching for the information on A.R.E TW Truck Cap and now I am here. So much information, really well executed blog. This is really informative and I will for sure refer my friends the same. Thanks


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